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Environment & Forest Defense

GOP Launches Vicious Attack on Endangered Species
by Cheryl Seal
Tuesday Dec 27th, 2005 12:29 PM
In the GOP's latest hellish vision (bills S.2112 and HR 3824), the lives of living organisms would be bartered, traded, and thrown away like so much monopoly money in a "credit system. "
In mid-December, GOP Senator Mike Crappo (whoops - Crapo) of Idaho introduced a bill that is designed to gut protections for endangered species. You will note how this bill, like all other outrageous schemes likely to enrage the public, are slithered onto the books right before or after Xmas while everyone is preoccupied. The aim of this latest GOP assault on all that is good and decent is to get around the defeat of a previous bill introduced by Richard "I Hate the Environment" Pombo (Pimpo?) and to help insure the passage of another equally odious bill proposed by Pimpo. The defeated bill proposed by Pimpo would have, in essence, given away vast tracts of public-owned wilderness to the mining industry. Pimpo's other bill, which passed the GOP-dominated (not for long!) House in late September, was one of the worst attacks on environmental protection in decades. Here's the rotting essence of the bill, HR 3824, as provided by the Center for Biological Diversity. The bill would:

** Completely remove protections for endangered species critical habitat

**Allow political appointees - such as Secretary of Interior Gale Norton - instead of scientists, to determine what constitutes the best available science (Ronald MacDonald would be better qualified)

***Greatly weaken recovery efforts, by making recovery plans voluntary and bending them to the desires of developers

***Undermine the government’s ability to protect endangered species by removing independent review to ensure that they do not drive species extinct

***Bankrupt endangered species programs by forcing the Fish and Wildlife Service to pay off developers to not violate the law


"This bill takes a wrecking ball to our nation's most important wildlife protection law," said the CBD's director Kieran Suckling.

Because this bill is so odious that even some Republican senators may have trouble swallowing it without puking, Pimpo and Crappo, along with their evil sidekick James Inhofe, have decided to repackage the rotting essence of H.R. 3824 as senate bill S.2110. This bill, obscenely titled “Collaboration and Recovery of Endangered Species Act,” is , says Melissa Waage, legislative advocate for the CBD, part of an even bigger plan to gut the Endangered Species Act” that will “adopt the worst provisions of Pombo's House bill behind closed doors.”

The Crappo-Pimpo bill basically makes environmental protection optional. And, if developers decide to just trash a habitat, there won't be any significant federal oversight to annoy them while they do it. In addition, the assignment of what is endangered and what isn't is left up to Gale "I Love My Guns" Norton and her Bushie sidekicks, whose collective scientific and environmental knowledge could be nicely displayed on the head of a pin. In Crapo's hellish vision, the lives of living organisms would be bartered, traded, and thrown away like so much monopoly money in a "credit system. " The CBR analysis states:

"The Crapo bill would create a system allowing developers to buy and sell credits for destroying endangered species habitat. This senseless system would allow developers to destroy the habitat for one species (e.g. Coho salmon) because they have purchased credits to protect another (e.g. Mount Hermon june beetle). It would result in the destruction of tens of thousands of acres of essential habitat areas. "

Now keep in mind that the same sanctimonious Republicans backing this bill are the same “good Christian” hypocrites who claim to be "pro-life." Uh, huh. Like Doctor Death is pro-life.

What I would like to know is HOW a bill like this even makes it onto paper in the United States of America, let alone through the House of Representatives? “House of Representatives?” Just who do they represent? Surely not the 80% of the American public who have made it clear in poll after poll that environmental protection should be a top priority of the federal government. Surely not the millions of Americans who deeply appreciate the great American landscape (as opposed to the handful of developers dedicated to exploiting the same landscape). As long as the House remains dominated by the current Bushy Republicans, it should be retitled: "The Auction House of Representatives” Sold! To the highest bidder!

The Crappo-Pimpo Senate Bill S.2110
http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/PRESS/crapo_s2110_12_15_05.html


The Pimpo Bill H.R. 3824
http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/Programs/policy/esa/atax.HTML


TELL PIMPO AND CRAPPO WHERE THEY CAN SHOVE THEIR BILL!

Here's all you need to know: photos, addresses, phone numbers, local and federal offices, etc.

CRAPPO: http://www.vote-smart.org/bio.php?can_id=H1002103

PIMPO: http://www.vote-smart.org/bio.php?can_id=H0275103

While you're at it....

James Inhofe : http://www.vote-smart.org/bio.php?can_id=H3251103